These pages contain eyewitness accounts of the Skyraider crash at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, just outside Davis Station, Oct 1966. If you were there, send your comments to Chui.

A special thanks to Walter Chisholm, 175th RR Co., James Callahan and Doug Warner for the crash site photos.

The Flight Path - Photo by Walter Chisholm

The big hexagonal piece of concrete (that is laying on the side of the bunker) was actually the roof of the bunker. The guard in there is under a makeshift umbrella. The flightpath was from right to left. You can see some power lines above. Guess he flew under them.

The water tank in my picture can also be seen in Doug Warner's picture (below), to give a location reference. The bunker was at a T intersection. The airport operations and runway was straight ahead. The main gate was down the street behind the camera. If you turn left here, directly across from the bunker, that street went past the big soccer field (on the right) and on toward Davis Station. The plane's final resting place was on the left side of that street.
Walter Chisholm

A view looking towards Davis Station and the crash site in the distance near the water tower
Photo by Doug Warner

My name is Bob Bailey, U.S.N. (AO-3 A./C.) and I served as a crewmember in patrol squadron two (VP-2, crew 10) - 65 to 68.

Yes sir, I remember that day well, saw it all happen. Our squadron was parked just on the other side of the three large green hangers in the photo above - the lead pilot did a victory roll on a slight dive and pulled out and the wingman tried doing the same. He hesitated less than half way through his victory roll and went back to level on a slight dive - He was losing airspeed, and seemed to be dropping, lost sight of the plane, heard him hit the power on that big 3350 Wright engine then a boom, then a big white halo smoke ring, then all black smoke and sirens.

I was told that the power of that 3350 added all at once at near stall speed could cause that plane to torque steer itself and probably the controls, at such a slow speed, would not respond to that power (i.e. ailerons, trim tabs, rudder) and with wing flaps retracted, that plane had little lift; voila! a torque roll. Then again, maybe the pilot was trying to miss the crowd or a combination of both, I would like to believe miss the crowd.

Check out Baldur Sveinsson's website about Neptune aircraft, I put a pic on his site of some of our P-2's at Tan Son Nhut in 66 right where I saw the plane crash...Here is information about the Wright R-3350-57 "Cyclone" engine. We had two of these power plants, same as that Skyraider that crashed. I lost a buddy from home during the attack on 12/4/66 at Tan Son Nhut. He was with the 377th Air Force Police Squadron. 3 KIA and 3 guard dogs KIA during that attack. Welcome home brother, Bob, out.

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